Fallout 76 Xbox One X Review

Perhaps in the future Fallout 76 will become more stable to recommend but for now its best to avoid it like radiation.

By Grayshadow, Posted 17 Nov 2018

Fallout 76 captures the exciting feeling of exploring a vast open world full of unknown locations. Constantly uncovering hidden areas and finding exotic items is just as exciting here as it was in previous Fallout games but the game's massive technical problems and multiplayer balancing problems make the entire journey a frustrating experience. Fallout 76 is a technical mess that will have you fighting the game itself.

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Fallout 76 has you in control of a vault resident of Vault 76. As the first vault to open its doors to the new world it's up to you to rebuild America following the nuclear holocaust. There are no humans other than actual players and they can attack and kill you if they want. There's a story here about the people of West Virginia fallen victim to a plague, which has turned the population into a variant of Ghoul called the Scorched that shows potential but falls short due to the lack of meaningful interaction. Instead, you'll play errand boy as the story explains your job through audio diaries and machines.

Fallout 76 still carries that thrill of finding discovering unknown locations and hidden items. The map is huge with plenty of areas are provided to the player early on, with levels being restricted rarely. If you find yourself in a problematic situation you can join with other players.

Fallout 76 is a multiplayer experience but encountering a player is much rarer here than in the beta. Player interaction is sparse due to the map size. You can see everyone who's part of each world and their location through the map. If a player does decide to kill another a bounty is placed on their head. Kill that player and you'll earn some caps, the game's currency and which is much more rare in Fallout 76 than previous games This is the keep players from trolling others since a large bounty will attract a lot of hostile players.

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Since this is a multiplayer experience Bethesda has implemented a lot of balancing features. Weight for certain items have been altered and healing items like Stimpacks are extremely rare and expensive. Diluted options are available that provide the cheaper option but healing is primarily done through food, which also prevents you from starving and dehydrating. In concept, it sounds like a great way to ensure that players cannot collect powerful items but seeing that Bethesda tried to capture the single-player adventure of Fallout and implement multiplayer causes the 2 worlds to collide into a broken mess.

Survival mechanics do add another layer of inconveniences that the player has to deal with. Certain fresh foods spoil and eating and drinking without a care will lead to diseases that will extend through death which is vexing. When killed you only lose your Junk but since raw materials and crafting play a larger role in Fallout 76 junk material is just as valuable as anything else. What's strange is that when killed you still have to pay a fast travel fee if you just want to leave the area. This payment increases depending on the distance, so if you die in a difficult situation and just want to leave but don't have the funds your only option is to quit and load into a new world.

Bethesda has put more emphasis on building bases, like in Fallout 4. Players use a machine called the C.A.M.P. to create their own fort that must be defended from hostile enemies and players. Fortunately, your stash keeps your materials safe but this case is limited on space to prevent players from hoarding materials and items.

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This is a constant theme in Fallout 76, balancing for multiplayer at the sacrifice of player experience and it's clear the game cannot handle it. Dips in the frame rate during open world segments are so frequent that the game has stopped completely to keep up with everything. During closed sections, like inside buildings and mines, the game runs fine but in the open world expect massive dips in the frame rate.

Enemies are still active during this period, meaning you could lose vast amounts of your health or even die when the game suffers a massive slowdown. Those who experienced the light-speed ghouls and Scotch from the beta, they're still here! Some enemies are ridiculously persistent and will chase you for miles but due to the limited AP now being linked to jump as well expect to get winded a lot while trying to escape.

The leveling system has promise, encouraging players to try out certain skills that you would ignore. You still invest into SPECIAL but now there are cards that grant certain perks, similar to the previous system. You can upgrade perks up to level 3 and equip more than one card per stat depending on where you invest if you don't like a perk you can always replace them. Due to the game's high need for food and water and the incredibly high rate that diseases that pushed onto you these perks that resist handicaps become mandatory.

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Leveling is incredibly slow, again to balance for multiplayer. Players who just want to play the main quest line will now have to grind through quests to earn enough experience to take on these missions. There's no shortage of missions and places to explore but due to the lack of resources, heavy emphasis on survival, and the constant threat of glitches every area could be a nightmare instead of an interesting new area to explore.

What is very well executed is the VATS system. Before it would slow down the action, giving players a chance to shoot accurate shots when backed into a corner. Players can still active the mode but its now in real time. It's quicker and doesn't feature the same cinematic kills but it works.

There's is a microtransaction system here but everything in the store is available within the game. Players can earn the premium currency, Atom, by completing challenges. These are plentiful but the more exotic items will require a bit more effort to earn.

Fallout 76 has potential but it clearly needs a lot more work. The balancing system that promotes the multiplayer experience provides vexing annoyances that the player has to constantly deal. This coupled with the endless amount of graphical issues and gameplay affecting issues leads to infuriating experience. Bethesda has promised to update the game regularly but considering the state the game is in now a lot of updates will be needed. Perhaps in the future Fallout 76 will become more stable to recommend but for now its best to avoid it like radiation.
 

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Fallout 76

55/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Bethesda
Developer(s): Bethesda
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Apocalyptic
Release Date:

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